New Hobby Ultrasonic Record Cleaning


Purchased a cheap $199.00 stainless steel digital ultrasonic cleaner with a very nice record cleaning attachment off Amazon and I am having a blast.

This thing is heated, has a timer and an electric motor to rotate the records in the US tank. It is a 6L unit and it is made in China. Seems well built and it cleans records like a much more expensive machine.

I have cleaned a half dozen albums that are 40 plus years old and have only been cleaned with vacuuming machines and this thing is great. The albums I have cleaned sound darn near new and my wife thought I bought another new cartridge or phono pre-amp.

Can not recommend this type of cleaning system enough.

Rediscover those old albums.. if this thing lasts a couple of years I will be a happy dude. 
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I built a DIY ultrasonic cleaner last year and love it as well.  I think the US tank was about $100 and then I used a BBQ rotisserie motor and brackets to turn a spindle and plexiglass pucks as disc separators.

I use Triton X-100 as a detergent and Hepastat 256 as a surfactant, anti-static and anti-fungal (so your solution doesn't start to grow stuff).  Plus some isopropyl alcohol and distilled water from the grocery store. There is a recipe online.  I usually set the heat to 35 but unless I'm doing several batches, it never gets hotter than 32 - no problems.  I do have a separate rinse tank with pure distilled water to wash off the detergent and stuff.  They air-dry just fine but I did buy a little clip-on desk fan to speed it up.  

  It's amazing what it can do for both new and older records.  It's noisy but worth it.  If you decide to try the BBQ rotissery motor, I have a simple trick for getting a round spindle to fit in a square chuck (just took me 5 or 6 attempts to figure it out :-).

If you have the space, I highly recommend it.
Nice thing about this device also is I can clean my collection of watches, the Desmo valves out my Ducati, and my pistols.

all without using solvents.

I moved to ultrasonic cleaning about 4 months ago. Best thing I ever done. My TBond machine cost me only $129. All you need is a 6 qts size to fit the vinyl spin kit that holds 3 records at a time. I set the spin kit speed to its slowest speed and run it 7 minutes for a complete rotation. That's all it takes. Now come the important parts. Use distilled water only and add 20 drops of Tergikleen. That's the magical product used by the U.S. library of records. Run the machine 30 minutes to release the distilled water gases before you do your first batch. Then allow machine to cool down because all these machines heat up as they run. It is very important to wash your records with heat, that will improve the cleaning 10 fold. Temps between 30 degrees centigrade and 40 are optimum and perfectly safe. I heat my machine to 30 degrees before I do my first run and subsequently do two more runs. The last one will end up at 40 degrees. So 9 records a session is the maximum I  clean. The next important part is to rinse the Tergikleen off. To do that I customized a Studebaker record cleaning machine. I spin the records by hand in there multiple times in pure distilled water and then dab some of the water off the record with  micro fiber cloths. Finally I hang them for a final drying in a custom drying rack I built. It only takes me 30 minutes to do 9 records start to finish. I have now cleaned almost 400 records and went to all kinds of learning process to get to this point. The result is awesome. If the vinyl material is of good quality and the record has not been abused or played with a worn stylus, the record will be dead quiet, totally black background. If you check my house of stereo system, you will find a picture named wash, rinse and dry and will see the system. The ultrasonic with spin kit is on the left, the rinse bath in the middle and dry rack on the right. If you are serious about your vinyl, this is the best info I can give you. And one more thing, spend plenty of time and labor setting up acoustic treatments in your listening room. I can't think of anything more important to fully enjoy your vinyl than ultrasonic cleaning and room acoustic treatment. It's a labor of love. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.
One more thing, change the ultrasonic water batch every 50 records if they are fairly clean to start with, more often for dirty records. The rinse bath I change every 9 records. Both super important.